Arizona Native American Ruins Montezuma Castle
Early discoverers believed that Aztecs built this castle for Montezuma, however it was later learned he was never this far north. In reality, this structure is the most visibly well preserved Sinagua complex in Arizona. Sinagua is Spanish for "without water."
The Sinaguas were farmers. They also created and traded decorated reddish brown pottery. Large walnut and sycamore trees line a paved trail that leads to the "Castle." It is an easy walk around the grounds.
Montezuma's Castle is a five story 20-room dwelling built in a cliff that is 100 feet above. About 50 Sinagua farmers lived in this dwelling from the 1100-until they mysteriously started leaving in the 1400's.
Next to Montezuma Castle is what archaeologists called Castle "A." This castle was not as well preserved, due to a fire. However at it's peak, this cliff dwelling was much larger than Montezuma Castle.
It had over 45 rooms and 100 Sinagua farmers called this place home.
There is also an interactive recording as to what the inside of the castle would have looked like that is interesting.
It truly is a beautiful area, you can imagine the native people farming, hunting and caring for their families nearly 600 years ago.
Location: Camp Verde (between Phoenix and Sedona)
Directions:From Phoenix: Follow I-17 to exit 289. Drive east (through two traffic circles) for approximately 1/2 mile to the blinking red light. Turn left on Montezuma Castle Road. Right after the gas station